Big Island, L.A.
Boston Teran. High Top, $22 (296p) ISBN 978-1-56703-069-3
The pseudonymous Teran’s gripping sequel to 2002’s Never Count Out the Dead brings back agoraphobic crime columnist William Worth to investigate the fallout from a long-abandoned freeway expansion project. Worth, who’s begun hosting a podcast spun off from his pseudonymous L.A. Weekly “Big Island, L.A.” column, rarely leaves his compound in the city’s Mount Washington neighborhood. After learning that a cache of weapons from the L.A. Police Academy’s gun shop has been stolen, he launches an investigation that brings him into contact with a former Marine turned independent investigator named Ana Ride, who lost a foot in Afghanistan and has inside information about the burglary. Together, the pair of outsiders discover that the stolen weapons are tied to a much deeper level of corruption with roots in a government plan to seize and sell land in a Latino neighborhood that was the chosen site for a decades-old highway expansion plan that never materialized. Teran has long dealt with themes of social unrest, labor struggle, and the empty promise of the frontier West; here, he elegantly joins all three in pulse-pounding fashion. This terrific contemporary noir will resonate with fans of James Ellroy and Joe Ide. Agent: Natasha Kern, Natasha Kern Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/2023